A woman’s body is amazing. Just the fact that we can grow another human inside of us is just fascinating. But as amazing as pregnancy is, it can put a big stress and strain on a woman’s body. Throughout pregnancy there is increased laxity, and looseness of our ligaments and our joints.
As the baby grows, the belly is pulled forward moving your center of gravity forward which puts stress and strain through the back and neck. Other changes include increased size of breasts which can pull you forward and down through the neck and shoulders causing pain. While it is common to experience aches and pains during pregnancy, there are things that you can do to prevent and avoid these.
Common pregnancy pain complaints include:
- Low back pain
- Pelvic Pain
- Neck or shoulder pain
- Numbness or tingling in the arms or hands
- Belly pain
- Leg cramps
There are some simple posture changes that you can make to help reduce and even avoid these common complaints.
- Forward head and chin:Try to straighten your neck up so your ears are in line with shoulders instead of in front of them. Work on tucking your chin to help with this.
- Forward, rounded shoulders and depressed chest: Lift up through the rib cage and roll shoulders/arms out to the side to open up through the rib cage. As the breasts & belly are growing forward, it pulls your body down and forward as well, causing the shoulders to round forward causing the rib cage to dig in and make it hard to take deep breaths.
- Pelvis Tip Forward and Increased Arch in low back: Gently contract your abdominal muscles (Think like you are giving your baby a gentle hug with your belly).
- Pelvis Swayed Forward and Knees Pressed Back: Gently unlock the knees and try to line your pelvis over your ankles instead of in front of them.
- Flattened Arches and weight on Inner Border of Feet – Try to think of the bottom of your foot as a triangle with 2 points in the ball of the foot and 1 in the heel. Distribute your weight throughout all 3 points. It May be helpful to wear shoes with arch supports.
If you feel like the belly is really pulling far forward, you might be a candidate for a pregnancy support belt that lifts the belly a little bit.You may need to wear some type of support to help make sure that those abdominal muscles aren’t getting overly stretched out and feeling strained that way. Check out our previous blog on postpartum support belts.
If you try some of these and you are still dealing with pain and problems, then it may be very appropriate for you to partner up with a woman’s health physical therapist to see how you’re moving and what is going on in the pelvis, back, hips, neck and shoulders to look and see what are some changes that we can make so that you can have the healthiest, most pain free pregnancy that you can. Click here to sign up for a discovery session.